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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Allbooks Review Award Nominations

Nominations for the Allbooks Review Editor's Choice and Reviewer's Choice Awards have been announced. They are as follows:

Behind the Union Curtain by R. Sall
The Art of Original Thinking by Jan Phillips

Do you Know where Sea Turtles Go? by Paul Lowery
Reggie and Ryssa and the Summer Camp of Faery by B. Savino

Dancing in the Eye of Transformation by S. Brallier
The World's Best Kept Secret for Success and Happiness by V.F. Rayser
Non fiction-Exposed by D. Dimokopoulos
31 Months in Japan by L &L Collins

Dreaming of You by Francis Ray
Payson Heights by J. A. Wellman
Dancing in the Void by R. E. Levin

Baby Shark by R. Fate
Of Blood and Blackwater by T. Heffernan

Sci Fi/Fantasy
Cappawhite by G. Tate,
Angelos by R. Williams

Historical Fiction
The i Tetralogy by Mathias B. Freese
Danny and Life On Bluff Point 'The Man on the Train' by Mary Ellen Lee

Unscrambled Eggs by N. Brown
Old School by Robin Cook

2007 Allbooks Reviewer's Choice Award nominees

Danny and Life on Bluff Point-My Horse Sally by Mary Ellen Lee
John Audubon, Young Naturalist by Miriam E. Mason

Intelligent Design in Science, Religion and You by Nickolas Bay
Your Daily Walk with the Great Minds of the Past and Present by Richard A. Singer Jr.
Spiritual Practice, Occultism and Extraterrestrial Intelligence: A Travel Guide for Beyond the Rainbow by Judy Kennedy

Eddie and Me on the Scrap Heap by M. Littman
The Butterfly Dance by Christyna Hunter
The Devil's Halo by Chris Fox
The Spriting by S. Grimes

Non fiction
Nana: My grandmother, Anne Gillis by Robert Gillis
America’s Controversies: The Death Penalty, Clinton’s Presidency & Export of Democracy to Nicaragua by Ksenija Arsic

47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers by Troy Cook

Sci Fi/Fantasy
Sandryn's Glow by D. Collins
The Return of Innocence by D. Simolke
Quest for the Source of Darkness by P. Perry

Special congratulations to Capital Crime Press on the nominations of both Robert Fate's Baby Shark and Troy Cook's 47 Rules For Highly Effective Bank Robbers.

Winners will be announced January 7, 2007.

Monday, November 27, 2006

In For Questioning

Since the launch of Spinetingler Magazine I’ve gradually received more and more spam.

I must state, for the record, that I hate spam. I don’t know how I end up on some of these mailing lists but I do. I don’t know why, but there’s little use obsessing over that either.

Last month I’d received yet another piece of spam email. Yes, it was about a book. Yes, it was related to crime fiction, which is my personal passion.

But I sat there, looking at this unsolicited advert in my inbox wondering, What exactly do they think I’m going to do with this?

It was at that point that my mind started generating possibilities. In part, the thought process was prompted by other observations I’d made.

Over the past year in the crime fiction realm some of the authors I’ve heard the most talk about have been authors like Robert Fate and Troy Cook. JT Ellison said Robert Fate’s debut, Baby Shark may be one of the best books she’s ever read – you can read that on the front page of his website. Troy Cook’s book, 47 Rules For Highly Effective Bank Robbers has had an enormous amount of internet/listserve buzz about it.

I was starting to realize that the authors I was hearing about, more and more, were from independent presses or small publishers. There weren’t announcements about big advances or lucrative contracts and international sales – not that there’s anything wrong with that – but there was talk about how great their books are.

And a lot of that talk was coming from readers.

I started to wonder how readers were discovering these newcomers, despite the lack of conventional press.

I started to wonder how many other newcomers were still out there, waiting to be discovered.

Meanwhile, I was looking at a bit of spam that I couldn’t use for Spinetingler, wondering about all of this.

That’s when I realized that if there was a gap in the news, it was relating to small presses and international authors. Their news isn’t being reported to the same degree, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be reported.

Allan Guthrie started small press. Duane Swierczynski started with a small press as well. What made the difference for them was that someone discovered their talent.

What this tells me is that there’s a lot of good material out there, just waiting to be discovered. And I want to help people get the word out.

That’s why I invited a few friends to join me here. I have my writing. I have Spinetingler. I have my own blog, and my responsibilities over at Killer Year as well. I can’t do another blog on my own. SW Vaughn is an author with Wild Child Publishing. John McFetridge’s debut novel, Dirty Sweet was published this year by ECW, a Canadian publisher. I’ve invited a few others to contribute here as well, so you may see some more names in the days to come.

We actually want you to email us with information about book deals, releases, new issues of e-zines, credible contests…

This doesn’t mean we’re going to post your advertisements. We will post newsworthy information.

It also doesn’t mean that we won’t talk about big publishers or internationally known authors. It just means that isn’t our primary focus. Whether your name is Cook or Cornwell, Fate or Fairstein, McFetridge or McDermid, we’re interested.

The only question we’ll ask is, Is this newsworthy? And likewise, when we post here, we expect readers to do the same. That’s why this is In For Questioning. It’s like bringing a suspect in – you get to decide if it’s information you can use.

To officially start things off, John sent me a link about the surge in Canadian crime fiction. A reader gives a thoughtful assessment of Ken Bruen’s The Magdalen Martyrs and Crimespree 15 is making its way around the world, with a lovely photo of Russel in the Bouchercon scrapbook.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sticking With Independents

In their November catalogue, Soft Skull Press is pleased to dispel the myth that authors who publish successfully through independent presses automatically shop their next project to the big guns in publishing.

A prime example of this is Matthew Sharpe. His novel The Sleeping Father, published through Soft Skull, was chosen as a Today Show Book Club selection, and thereafter became tremendously successful. However, rather than bringing his success to the table and seeking a deal with HarperCollins or Penguin Putnam, as he could have, Sharpe returned to Soft Skull for his latest novel, Jamestown.

Other successful authors have stuck with this excellent small press as well. Among them are Wayne Koestenbaum, David Ohle, Daphne Gottlieb, and Lydia Millet, all award-winning writers who have found joy in independent publishing.

Why choose a small press? Further, why stay independent when you could gain “commercial” success? Many authors cite the personal attention as a primary reason for staying “small.” Where a large publisher will undoubtedly release your novel along with 40 or 50 other titles as part of a spring or fall catalogue, a selective independent publisher may have a dozen or less, and each of these titles is hand-fed through the process of reviews, bookstore placements, and more.

Another advantage is “shelf life.” Large publishers routinely pull titles from their active list after three months or so, unless the books are runaway bestsellers. Most independent presses keep their titles in print for a year or more, allowing unknown authors time to build an audience.

Any other independent publisher advantages you can think of?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

An Assortment of News

British author Steve Mosby has had the rights to his third and fourth books purchased by Droemer Knaur in Germany. Fantastic news – congratulations Steve! This follows the news that the rights were sold in Italy as well. Can world domination be far behind? A talented author who has two books to his credit already. If you haven't checked his work out yet, be sure to add him to your must-read list for 2007.

An issue of Psycho Noir is up at Hardluck Stories. You'll see some familiar names in this issue, so be sure to check it out.

Sela Carson shares news about an upcoming anthology to support a very good cause.

And Canadian author Steve Clackson displays some priceless book covers that you won’t see in stores near you any time soon.

A Call to NaNoWriMo-ers and Aspiring Authors

Visit Duane Swierczynski's blog for more details about a novel writing contest.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New Demolition

The latest issue of Demolition is now available online. This issue includes work by Dave White, Jordan Harper, a rising star in the catchy first lines club I might add, Tom Wohlforth, Patricia Abbott, David Terrenoire, who proves he knows just the right things to say to a woman to set the mood, Chris Everheart, John Weagly, Colin C. Conway and Russel D. McLean. Who knew Russel's name would prove to be such a bitch to spell? Couldn't he make life easy and change his name to something straightforward, like Quertermous or Terrenoire?

Anyway, all name jokes aside, brilliant collection of writers here and well worth the time checking out.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

When Hell Freezes Over

Canadian crime writer (and president of the CWC) Rick Blechta, is running a contest for his new novel, When Hell Freezes Over on his website.

Also, check out the cool e-card for When Hell Freezes Over.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Out of the Gutter Debut List Announced

An anthology of well-written, fucked-up stories, Out of the Gutter is the epitome of an underground project worthy of attention. The anthology, which the founder hopes will be the first of many, will launch with contributions from:

D.Z. Allen
Dale Bridges
Billy Elizondo
Seth "Soul Man" Ferranti
Victor Gischler
Paul Grimsley
J.A. Konrath
Hana K. Lee
Joe McKinney
Todd Robinson
Sandra Ruttan
Harry Shannon
Charlie Stella
Duane Swierczynski
and MLB (OOTG founder)

An Out of the Gutter website will be launched soon that will have more information. The first anthology will go to print in early 2007.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Genre Novel Takes Literary Prize

Val McDermid's latest work, The Grave Tattoo has been awarded the Portico Prize for Fiction, which considers all works of fiction. The Portico Library in Manchester awards the prize to a book about the North West of England or set primarily in that region and is split into fiction and non-fiction categories. Congratulations Val!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Starting Points

Court TV launches their search for the next great crime writer starting November 13.

Canadian writers should keep their eye on the Crime Writers of Canada site for more details about a new competition for unpublished authors. This is the official announcement sent out Saturday November 4 to CWC members.

The unhanged Arthur
Mothership is thrilled to announce that we will be adding a new category to the Arthur Ellis Awards – the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Unpublished Mystery Novel. The award is modeled on the CWA’s Debut Dagger. We are just finalizing the details, but essentially, you submit the first 10,000 words of your unpublished mystery manuscript (rounded up or down to the nearest chapter) along with a synopsis of the book. If you are one of the 10 people to make the first-stage cut, you will be asked to submit your completed manuscript. This long-list will be pared down to a 5-person short-list; the winner will be announced at the Arthur Ellis Awards dinner.

Major thanks to LOUISE PENNY (Dead Cold, McArthur & Company), MICHAEL WHITEHEAD, and MARIAN MISTERS (SLEUTH OF BAKER STREET) who researched and developed the proposal for this new category. Louise has also brought Kim McArthur, publisher of McArthur & Company, to the table – McArthur & Company will be donating a cash prize to the winner. Even more exciting, though, is that Kim will look at the winning manuscript with an eye to possibly publishing it.